The Worst Neighbor in the World*
by Marc Foster
American film, 2:07
Otto is one of those characters as we all know. The grumpy and irascible neighbor who complains about everything and everyone, nostalgic for a bygone past when, in his case, we drove in solid American cars. Inconsolable widower and freshly retired, he patrols his street every morning to observe the general neglect and to harass those who are at the origin of it. Basically, since the disappearance of his wife, he dreams of ending this world. But his multiple suicide attempts, however carefully prepared – Otto is very meticulous – come up against the invading family of Mexicans who have just moved in opposite his home. The latter, warm and benevolent, will contribute, we can guess, to reveal what is best in him.
A lazy scene
Tom Hanks is as usual perfect in this American-style feel-good movie, the script of which does not, however, reserve any surprises for the viewer. The characters are archetypal, the staging, punctuated with flashbacks gradually unveiling the dramas of Otto’s past, is lazy, and the cast conforms to current Hollywood standards of inclusion. Everything is so marked out that this perfectly well-rehearsed and dosed comedy – we constantly oscillate between laughter and tears – ends up distilling boredom. And makes us ardently regret that its main actor no longer finds in his country roles commensurate with his talent.
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